Sourdough bread with a stand mixer
Sourdough bread is reasonably easy to make using your hands but it has become our staple, we scarcely eat anything else now, so, I wanted to see where I could get using a stand mixer and bread tins.
This recipe is easy to make, you don't spend much time doing anything. It is however a process, to make the best tasting bread you need to take your time and plan ahead. You wait while the bread does the work and you need to keep your starter healthy. It has been a great success with the family.
I also use loaf tins, it's easy and is better for sandwiches than a classic hand shaped loaf
1 stand mixer with a dough hook and a beater attachment.
This recipe assumes you have one with a splash cover. The mixture stays in the bowl for the bulk fermentations, so without a cover it will dry out, if you don't have a cover you will need to cover the bowl with a damp towel between bulk fermentations.
2 off 30cm by 11 cm bread tins.
2 * 1L plastic containers with lids .
Empty 1lt yoghurt pots are ideal to keep the starter in. They are reasonably easy to wash out and avoid the problem of it bubbling over the top and making a mess in the fridge.
At least 150g bubbly, active starter
280g warm water, preferably filtered
500g long fermentation bread flour
50g or malted rye grain
10g Himalayan rock salt or sea salt.
Prepare and maintainthe starter.
Unless you are baking every day you will need to keep the starter in the fridge between making bread to slow it down a bit.
Retain 300 to 400g of starter in the pot between baking. Use the remainder to make bread. Using the weights below you will always have excess starter, when you do just add more to the bread.
Depending on how long your starter has been in the fridge it may be active or it may need reviving.
To test if it is active or not, drop some into some water. If it rises to the top it is active if it stays on the bottom it is not active. If it's bubbling up to the top of the container it's definitely active.
Starter not active
Put all of the starter into the mixer bowl, add 150g of flour and 150g of filtered water and use the beating attachment to form a batter of a similar consistency to pancake mix. (Add more water or flour as necessary to get a nice mix) Pour approximately 300 to 400g into a fresh yoghurt pot and put it in the fridge. Leave the reminder (at least 150g) in the mixer bowl and wait for it to start bubbling before you continue making bread. Put it somewhere warm (not hot) to speed it up. (The oven with just the light on works well and apparently an AGA is ideal.)
Starter is active.
Retain 150g of active starter and pour the remainder into the mixer bowl, add 150 grams of flour and 150g of filtered water and use the beating attachment to form a batter of a similar consistency to pancake mix.
Pour 300 to 400g into a fresh yoghurt pot and return to the fridge. Leave any surplus in the mixer bowl.
Add the active starter to the mixer bowl.
Make the dough.
At this point you should have at least 150 grams of active starter in the mixing bowl. Add 280 grams of filtered water, 10 g of salt, 50g of malted rye grains and 500g white bread flour (I use organic)
Using the dough hook mix the ingredients together on a low speed until they start to combine. Increase to a medium speed and beat for 4 or 3 minutes.
You should end up with a fairly soft dough that slowly falls off the dough hook when you open the mixer. If you make a dry dough it's easier to clean up but doesn't seem to rise as well.
Leave the mixture for at least half an hour and beat the dough again for a minute. Repeat this process at least two more times.
Transfer the dough into one of the tins and place the other on top as a lid.
You can either go straight to the next step or, for the best tasting bread, put it in the fridge overnight and take it out the following morning.
Put the tins in a warm place until the bread rises, this can take 8 hours or more if it's cool, be patient. When it rises into and begins pushing the top tin off it is ready to bake. Preheat the oven to 180c place both tins in the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Turn the bread out onto an airing rack and leave for at least half an hour before you eat it.
You can use rye flour for the starter if you wish to change the character of the bread. I find it hard to get pure rye to rise but using a rye starter and white flour produces a good rye flavour and a well risen loaf.